Applying Eye Shadow - Dilemma of the Week - Makeup - iVillage Beauty

Is there a rule for applying eye shadow? I see all these amazing tones and shades, but what do I do with them?

Following are some guidelines to enhance the distinct shape and beauty of your eyes, but I urge you to improvise and create a look that really is your own.

Start by defining your eye shape -- almond, round, narrow? -- and size. Do you have a large or small lid area with a clearly defined crease? Or is it flat with no marked crease?

Once you've determined your eye shape and size, leaf through a few beauty magazines or sites and study models who have eyes shaped similarly to yours and critique their style, this way you'll have ideas to work from.


Traditional eye shadow rules of thumb are these:

  • For almond-shaped eyes with a distinct crease, place the deepest tone on the outer edge of the lid and half way up into the crease, keep the inner half of the lid lighter.
  • If you have narrow-shaped eyes with a small crease and want to use dark tones, keep them very close to the lash line, and consider highlighting under the brow bone.
  • For round-shaped eyes, keep the deepest tone toward the center of the eye blending upward from lid to crease.
  • For large lids, graduate tones, startine with a liner, then filling in with color to create depth.
  • For small lids, keep tones light, or you'll tend to close up the area and make eyes look smaller.
  • For eyes with no visible crease, try a deep shadow across the entire lid, then play with a fabulous midnight-blue or shiny black mascara.

Recommended Products:

Shu Uemura Pressed Eye Shadow
Stunning color selection and velvety texture. The pearl shades are my current favorite.
Price: $18
Available: (888) 540-8181, Shu Uemura boutiques, Sephora,

Estée Lauder Go Wink Liquid Eyeshadow
Gives sparkly highlights with translucent color; really stays put.
Price: $16
Available: Department stores, Esté,

Clinique Touch Tint for Eyes
For a sheerer, more translucent glow; comes in tints from light to dark; excellent for blending.
Price: $13.50
Available: Department stores,,

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